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Advice firm hands ownership to employees

Advice firm hands ownership to employees
 Barry Horner, chief executive of Paradigm Norton

Paradigm Norton has made all 65 of its employees shareholders in the financial planning business, as part of a newly introduced collective ownership structure at the company. 

The firm, with offices in London, Bristol and Torquay, today (June 24) announced its transfer to an employee ownership trust, which gives all staff a stake in 80 per cent of the company's shares. 

Paradigm Norton said the move was designed to "future proof" the business against senior shareholder retirements and provide "stability and security" for clients and its team.

The financial planning firm will continue to be led by founder and chief executive Barry Horner, who said the structure is intended to preserve the company's "valuable long-term" relationships.  

Mr Horner said: "This is a really exciting move for Paradigm Norton, enabling us to realise our ambition to become a trans-generational business.

"The collective ownership by all the team secures the future of the business and our core values, meaning we can long outlast the founders and senior team without the threat of a takeover or sale that could result in a dramatic change in business culture."

Paradigm Norton services about 1,200 clients, but is aiming to increase this through growth and acquisition, having already merged with The Red House Consulting last year giving it an expansion into London.  

The employee ownership trust was introduced in 2014 in the UK Finance Act, as a structure which allows a business to be owned collectively by its employees. 

Deb Oxley OBE, chief executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: "We congratulate Paradigm Norton Financial Planning on its transition to employee ownership supported by our members FieldFisher.

"By widening ownership of the business to its employees Paradigm Norton Financial Planning is securing the future of the business, including its ethos, values and employees, while rooting itself locally for the longer term to the benefit of the community it serves."

Paradigm Norton has been working towards its move to collective ownership since 2017, alongside London-based law firm Fieldfisher.

rachel.addison@ft.com 

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